A baby-boomer is someone who ....
The other day one of the rug rats asked, “What’s a baby boomer?”
A baby boomer, and anybody else over the age of 50, remembers:
* When kids had newspaper routes and delivered the paper after school and on Saturdays; they learned how to fold a newspaper so it could be tossed on the run without coming apart. ... Penmanship was taught in elementary school and the principal kept the strap in his desk drawer. Kids memorized the ‘ times table’. The dreaded weekly spelling tests. ... This was a time when getting in trouble at school carried a double whammy, the second being the dreaded call to the parents from the school. .... When nuns and religious brothers taught in Catholic elementary schools. One boys’ school had a brother nicknamed “Bell Ringer”. If you weren’t paying attention you got a whack on the back of the head. ... The only phone in the home was a black rotary phone and it was on a party line. If the line wasn’t in use (you had to pick up the receiver to find out) an operator would asked, “Number please.”
* When kids were made to stand in the corner for misbehaving and the punishment for cussing was the wash-your-mouth- out-withsoap treatment. Writing out a hundred lines of “I will behave in class.” ... When most city kids walked to school and went home for lunch, regardless of the weather. ... Long line of excited kids outside the Palace Theatre on Saturday mornings and the theatre cop called Herbie. Cartoon-a-ramas and newsreels.
* A crusty cop at Pitt and Second streets called Dave Mccracken; cops who walked the Pitt Street and Montreal Road beats. ... Yo-yos, hula-hoops, marbles, comic book collections and a stash of ‘traders’. ... Friday night youth dances at the Knights of Columbus downstairs hall. I know folks who met at the Knights’ dances, got engagement, got married and are still married. ... High school football games, pep rallies and post- game tea dances in the gym. ... Final high school (CCVS and SLHS) exam results published in the Standard-freeholder for all to see.
* The Woolworth lunch counter. ... Going steady in high school and giving a girlfriend your school ring to wear. ( Never got mine back). ... When a girl’s parents wanted to know the new boyfriend’s religion. ... Making out was how you did on a final exam. ... The duskto- dawn long weekend all nighters at the drive- in. ... Sneaking into the drive- in in the trunk.
* The outdoor lacrosse box at Alexander Park where minor lacrosse games were played. Outdoor rinks at the Athletic Grounds where minor hockey games were played, many of them floodlight fixtures. The 75 cent hockey stick and army style duffle bags. ... Local bands called Ambassadors, Mark IV, Harry Young and the Noblemen, Butlers, Fabulous Flames, Shermans, Simon and the Disciples, Jaguars, Tiffany Trio, George Watson Band, Cosmos. ... Somebody calculated that at one time there were at least 60 young local musicians playing in a slew of local bands. Among them Mike Heenan, Willie Dee, the Rivettes, Paul Boosamara, Bob Bazinet, Eric Harps, Percy Smith, the Booth brothers, Dennis Carr, Rollie Bissonnette, Gerry Paquette, Norm Grignon.
* Cooking outside was called camping. .. Pot was something you cooked in and Coke was a cold drink. ... Fast food was gulping down dinner so you could rush back to the park where everybody was hanging out. ... The indoor pool at the Paragon Motel ( now Murphy’s). ... When you were sick the doctor came to your house. ... Most parents never played golf, went South for a winter vacation or had a credit card, although many families had an account at the neighbourhood grocery store. ... Pizzas were not delivered but milk and bread were. I was 14 years old before I tasted my first pizza ( Zappia’s). Think it was called pizza pie. ... Our cowboy heroes never actually shot and killed anyone. Mostly they just shot the gun out of the bad guy’s hand. ... Mayor Horovitz children’s picnic at Central Park. ... Courtaulds and Howard Smith Paper Mill whistles that announced the curfew for kids under 16. Some parents had their own summer rule: get home when the street lights come on.
* Stay- at- home moms who had supper ready when dad came home from work. Families ate together and a kid had to ask permission to leave the table. ... Monday was wash day ( using a wringer washer) and Thursday was grocery shopping day. Potatoes were bought in 50-pound bags. ... Just about every family had a backyard garden. ... They didn’t have extended warranties because an appliance was expected to last at least 20 years.
Growing up today sure isn’t what it used to be.
THIS WEEK IN 1965 - Viscount Public School Grade 1 teacher Evelyn Barkley was seeing extra double with two sets of twins among her students. The twins were Maureen and Doreen Garvin and Lorna and Lois David. ... Cornwall Planning Board approved a plan to development a subdivision and shopping centre north of Courtaulds Canada Ltd. ... Charles Adams was named city engineer. He succeeded his father, Charles Sr. who had served as city engineer since 1952. ... Two men escaped from a car which took out six guard rails before plunging into Cornwall Canal at the foot of Race and Gloucester streets. They swam to shore and fled but were arrested by city police and charged with theft of the car. ... The 10th annual Howard Smith Paper Mill banquet for retired employees was held. The 97 pensioners included Donald Mctavish, Alex Tyrell and Charles Lagden who started at the mill in 1913. ... The 85 teachers employed by Cornwall Public School Board had a new contract that gave level one teachers $3,400 a year, while top end level five teachers with 10 years experience would be paid $8,000 a year. ... Radio station CFML was under new ownership with studios at 1308 Pitt St. On- air staffers were Therese Pitre, Serge Nadeau, Jacques Moreau, Madeleine Germain and Roland Chevrier. ... The Candylynns featuring Wave Ownes were playing at the Lloyd George Hotel Wharf Room. ... Three members of the Royals - centre Jean Payette, defenceman Dave Woodward and goalie Harold Murphy - were at the Toronto Marlboros training camp. ... Moe Lemieux scored from third on a throwing error to give Lemieux Paint Centre a 10th- inning 5- 4 victory over Howard Smith Paper Mill in the seventh game of the Industrial League Softball League championship series. Lemieux finished the game with three hits. Lutt Bergeron and Eugene “Slugger” Bergeron each had two extra- base hits for HSPM. ... Courtaulds swept the North End Fastball League championship series with a 14-6 win over Glengarry Transport Limited. Ted Smith had the mound victory. Kevin Mcmillan and Sandy O’neill each had two hits.
TRIVIA The old King George Park club house was built in 1940. After the war it was moved to the park. What was its original use?
TRIVIA ANSWER Cornwall Jail closed in November 2002. It had been open for 169 years. It has been re- invented as a tourist attraction.
FINAL THOUGHT For the first half of your life, people tell you what you should do; for the second half, they tell you what you should have done. - Richard Needham, columnist/author